Friend or foe? How gorse is saving Giant Mahoenui wētā

Gorse, a pest for most, but a home for others!

While generally considered to be New Zealand’s worst scrub weed – gorse also provides important protection for one of the world’s largest insects, Mahoenui giant wētā.That’s putting the Department of Conservation in an unusual situation.

If they want to sustain the wētā population, they will need to preserve the gorse in the King Country region, the only place where they can be found.

Masters student, Hannah Stilborn grew up in the Mahoenui area and won a research scholarship with DOC to research Mahoenui giant weta. 

Friend or foe? How gorse is saving Giant Mahoenui wētā
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